Magacin Depo, 17th of April

Simian Mobile Disco


James  and  Jas  of  Simian  Mobile  Disco,  though  quite different  in  personality,  are  both  modest  fellows. In conversation each of them, more than once, puts thesuccess of SMD down to sheer luck – however, this is not really true. Yes, they were in the right place at the right  time  in  some  senses,  but  it  takes  an  awful  lot more than that to bring an album as sonically glorious and ambitious as Unpatterns to as broad an audienceas they are managing to reach. And as you get deeper into the details of their career to date, it becomes very clear how much tenacity, scholarship, imagination and sheer love for what they do, as well as good fortune, has got them to where they are today.

Most of all, their success has been based on learning as they go. And they’ve had plenty of things to learn from since  they  were  thrown  into  the  deep  end  of  the industry  when  Simian,  the  band  they  formed  with Simon  Lord  and  Alex  McNaughten  at  Manchester University, was signed to a subsidiary of a major label in 2000. It was an unlikely start, given that they were in  James’s  words  “a  kind  of  prog-psychedelic  thing partially named after the Silver Apples’ drum synth”, or as  Jas  puts  it  “trying  to  show  you  could  make  band music with songs and harmonies but be into Autechretoo, just at the moment the world was into the Strokes and White Stripes and straight-ahead rock music.”